Washington Court of Appeals: Attorney-Client Privilege Protects Against Motion to Compel in Legal Malpractice Case
The Washington Court of Appeals vacated a disqualification order and remanded four discovery orders in a legal malpractice suit. The issues began with the sale of a controlling stake in a real estate company. The law firm Sussman Shank, LLC advised former owner Troy Dana in the sale. After the sale, Dana sued the new company for broken promises made during negotiations. The Cushman Law Firm represented Dana in this litigation. Dana then brought a legal malpractice action against Sussman for issues that arose from the sale of his company, again represented by Cushman. During discovery, Sussman requested production of Cushman’s files from the the previous litigation. The circuit court granted Sussman’s motion to compel discovery and Cushman was forced to give up the files. However, the Washington Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the files were protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Dana v. Piper, No. 42290-5-II (Wash. Ct. App. Feb. 20, 2013).